Power-Dressing: Take Your Boardroom Inspiration From These Ladies…

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • Power dressing. It’s the ultimate trend that enables us to assert authority and create dramatic impact. We’ve rounded up the best celebrity power dressers, from politicians to designers, who never fail to get it right.

    To celebrate this trend, The Design Museum is holding its latest fashion exhibition, Women Fashion Power (29 October – 26 April), showcasing outfits donated from some of the most renowned power dressers throughout the years.

    Featuring the likes of Dame Vivienne Westwood and Diane Von Furstenberg, it showcases women who have used fashion as a tool to build reputation and successfully enforce their power – whilst looking fabulous at the same time. We’re talking sharp lines and minimalist tailoring, structured dresses and killer heels, all guaranteed to make an impact.

    Marie Claire gives the low down of some of our own favourite power dressers. These ladies mean business…

    1. Victoria Beckham
    Making up one half of ‘Brand Beckham’, VB has definitely earned her style stripes carving out a successful career in fashion with her eponymous brand. She opts for minimalist tailoring and clean lines, and is never spotted without obligatory six-inch heels – perfect for asserting her authority in the fashion business.

    2. Michelle Obama
    The First Lady is no stranger to power-dressing. She knows that bright hues make immediate impact so is often seen wearing structured dresses in vibrant colours and textured prints. This ensures she looks feminine and stands out during her duties. 

    3. Angeline Jolie
    Whether it’s Dolce & Gabbana, Saint Laurent or Micheal Kors, Mrs Jolie-Pitt certainly knows how to make designer pieces work for her when it comes to power dressing. Whether she’s at a political conference or a red carpet event, she keeps her trouser suits feminine with a skinny leg, loose fitting top and dainty accessories such as the skinny belt.

    4. Emma Watson
    This UN Goodwill Ambassador effortlessly steals the spotlight in her favoured monochrome colour palette and minimalist outfit choices. She’s quickly evolved into a power-dressing icon, wearing loose fitting blouses, nipped at the waist trousers and the classic white shirt. Top marks for the pointed court shoe too.

    5. Amal Clooney
    A newcomer to the fashion set, newlywed Mrs Clooney always looks ever the power dresser, whether she goes for smart coords or a feminine dress. She favours the clean white colour palette with minimal design, but injects a pop of colour with a floral print or Breton stripe – patterns that were made for the power dressing trend. Our new style crush.

    6. Natalie Massenet
    As founder and chairman of Net-a-Porter, Natalie’s style credentials speak for themselves. Having to attend high powered meetings and fashion events mean she continually has to look professional yet stylish – something she has mastered. A tailored white shirt, high-waisted trouser and chic blazer is her go-to power outfit.

    7. Carine Roitfeld
    Fashion editor of CR, and previously French Vogue, Ms Roitfeld knows luxe fabrics get you noticed. She opts for leather separates such as a tight fitting pencil skirts, metallic detailing and loose fitting chiffon. Take note.

    8. Jenna Lyons
    J. Crew’s creative director asserts her importance in the fashion world with her signature masculine tailoring. It’s all about the detailing with a collar or a textured print. She is never complete without the power dressing staple which many of our ladies featured here favour: the heeled court shoe. Guaranteed to show you mean business.

    Reading now

    Popular fashion stories